Is It Safe For Diabetics To Consume Vitamin E

Illustration of Is It Safe For Diabetics To Consume Vitamin E
Illustration: Is It Safe For Diabetics To Consume Vitamin E

Dear Doctor,

Originally posted 2020-04-16 10:37:05.

1 Answer:

Hello, Fitri.

Thank you for consulting

Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, belongs to the fat-soluble vitamin group. Its main efficacy is as an anti-oxidant. Sources of this vitamin can be obtained from vegetable oils, such as olive oil or palm oil. In small amounts, vitamin E is also found in vegetables, wheat, fruits and nuts.

Against the immune system, vitamin E is thought to play a role, including through the activation of white blood cells (leukocytes) T, modulating the balance of Thelper (Th) 1 / Th2 cells, increasing the activity of natural killer cells or activation of dendritic cells. With its influence on the cells above, directly or indirectly, vitamin E contributes to the non-specific and adaptive immune system.

Regarding diabetes mellitus (DM), there are studies that show that vitamin E can improve insulin receptor sensitivity in overweight people, but this effect is only cursory. Other studies indicate the role of vitamin E in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (which is a complication of DM) or diabetes nephropathy in experimental animals, but after conducting clinical trials on humans there are no significant results.

Thus, vitamin E is relatively safe and efficient in diabetes mellitus, both to modulate the immune system and as a protective effect that reduces the risk of DM complications. Nevertheless, it must be careful because this vitamin is fat soluble so that it can cause poisoning if consumed in excessive amounts. The nutritional adequacy rate of vitamin E is 15 mg. However, in DM, the need for vitamin E specifically, as well as other micronutrients is higher than normal people.

Because in DM, the need for micronutrients increases, due to a tendency for a lack of vitamins and minerals in the bloodstream, which can reduce the response to insulin and disrupt glucose metabolism. Thus, it should be recommended to consume multi-vitamins and minerals, especially in supporting the immune system against the threat of infection, including acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In multi-vitamins and minerals, it contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E which have antioxidant content and play a role in supporting the immune system. Because in DM the need for micronutrients, such as vitamins A, C and E, increases because it is widely used to control the mechanism of excessive oxidative stress that is produced through abnormal glucose metabolism. Moreover, in patients with DM there are restrictions on nutrient intake, which can affect the body's micronutrient levels. A good multivitamin should contain nutrients needed by the body, such as vitamin B complex (especially B12 and folate), vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron.

DM sufferers need magnesium intake because in DM magnesium levels are very low, especially diabetics retinopathy (complications of DM in the eye). Mg deficiency in DM can interfere with blood glucose control in the form of impaired insulin secretion or insulin resistance. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) can improve glucose intolerance and play a role in reducing the risk of DM complications. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in reducing diabetic retinopathy. Vitamin C plays a role in increasing endurance, as an anti-oxidant and improves glucose tolerance. Vitamin D, besides being beneficial for bone formation, maintaining healthy heart and muscles, also plays an important role in regulating blood sugar. Zinc plays an important role in insulin metabolism, protects beta cells from damage and is involved in the body's immune mechanism against viral infections.

Vitamin B thiamine, pyridoxine and biotin are found to be decreased in people with diabetes mellitus. Vitamin D is thought to increase risk factors for developing DM and its complications, especially cardiovascular disease. Although several studies have found an association between vitamin K intake and glucose metabolism, further research is needed.

However, however, due to the presence of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) in multivitamins, accumulation of these vitamins in the body can cause poisoning. However, this seems to be more susceptible to normal people than DM sufferers, because DM tends to be deficient in vitamins and other micronutrients.

Thus information from me, hopefully can be useful.


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